How to Make Comicbook Shoes
We all like to have that WOW factor when going out, and what's a better WOW factor than wearing a completely unique piece of clothing or jewelry? Wearing a completely unique pair of shoes, that's what!
This hub will show you how to create your own pair of shoes from your favourite comic, magazine or other images. Anything paper, basically. The possibilities are endless! I will also show you how to make your creation water resistant, so that you can actually wear them outside, without fear of your hard work washing away in the rain!
You Will Need:
A Sharp Scalpel,
A smallish paintbrush, (for applying the glue)
Water Based Polyurethane Clear Gloss (for weather proofing)
And, and old pair of shoes.
A note on the chosen shoes:
Ideally, these should be an old pair that have perhaps seen better days, and I would advise against using a pair of designer heels unless you're super confident!
Also, bear in mind that you will be putting paper on top, along with many coats of glue. This will make the outer shell brittle, so the shoes should not bend much whilst being worn, as this will ensure that the paper doesn't crack, and the design is longer lasting! For example, canvas shoes wouldn't be a good idea, whereas steel toecap boots would work quite well.
Prepare Your Workstation and Plan Your Time
Preparation is the key! Ideally, you should set out at least half an hour per night for about a week to complete these shoes, and at least 3-4 hours for the first night. Leave yourself plenty of time, otherwise you may rush at the end, and mess up the finished result.
Prepare your area- before working, set out everything that you need, so that it is easily to hand. I also covered my desk with paper, because I knew that it would get a bit messy, especially when the glue came out! I also kept a small pot of water handy, incase anything gor stuck to my brush while I was glueing.
Now, you must decide what images you want to use. You can use any image you like- magazines, family photos, children's books- but comic images work well because of their strong colours, and ability to be overlapped nicely.
Begin to cut out sections of your chosen design that you like, and don't worry about it relating. Think more in terms of filling spaces first, and design next. Lots of small images work better than one large one. Keep planning in mind, and have a rough idea of where you will be placing the pieces, as this prevents you from cutting out far too many, and wasting your time. That said, ensure that there are a few small spares, to cover any little gaps later on.
Recolour any Straps and Trims
If you are changing the colour of straps or trims, i recommend doing it before any glueing is done, simply because you can be a little messy, and it will be covered later.
The shoes in this demo began life as a dull grey, and I used a simple Sharpie marker to change the trim and straps to a nice dark red, as this matched the comic art brilliantly.
Bear in mind, that different materials may need another method for colouring, and it may actually be easier to choose a shoe that has a nice coloured trim to begin with, but I had to work with the pair I had. You could also layer over some ribbon or something similar to make the trim or strap look completely different, or if you want really bright colours. Just remember to re-punch any holes in the new layer if you do this.
Start Sticking Your Images Onto The Shoe
Once all the preparation is complete, you can begin sticking the images onto the shoes with mod podge.
I suggest glueing both the shoe, and the image, allowing to go slightly tacky for a few seconds, then securing. I used little clips to hold things in place as they dried, but modpodge is so fast drying anyway!
I also suggest starting from a central location, such as the middle of the heel or toe, and working outwards from that. This prevents any mismatch of images, or blank spots, from being instantly noticed. Be aware that there will be folds and creases, and images will overlap, its just what happens! If you work slowly, and methodically, you can reduce the amount of these little imperfections, but remember that they add to your shoes' uniqueness!
Also, be really careful when glueing to the edges. You don't want glue over your trim, as it doesn't look professional. You want to glue up to the trim, or any other edges, and ensure that spare glue doesn't gloop over the edge. This can take a bit of practice, but its worth it for a non DIY look!
It doesn't matter if the image goes over the trim, as this gets cut away later, just ensure that no glue goes over.
Cut off any Excess and Tidy Rough Edges
After allowing an overnight drying period, you can now cut off any excess images using your sharp scalpel. I say sharp, because it is important to have a new blade on the scalpel. If you don't, the images will tear, and it will look messy.
To trim the edges, simply use the stitching, or the groove around the trim as a guide. Push your nail into the groove so that you have a line to follow, and run over the line with the scalpel. Any spare paper should come away. If it is still stuck, it is possible that the glue has leaked, so gently scrape this away with the blade.
Don't worry if little pieces here and there come slightly unstuck- you just re-glue it.
Coat The Images in Multiple Coats of Glue
Now that everything is trimmed, your shoes are nearly done. You just need to protect them. To do this, simply paint layers of mod podge onto the images, and allow to dry between coats. I painted on 2 thin coats per night, for about 3 nights.
The glue that I used created a shiny look on the shoes, and this is because it was a gloss finish mod podge. It is possible to get matte finish, or even glitter finish, it is totally up to you!
The purpose of this is to seal the images, and make sure they are stuck down.
Apply the Waterproofing Varnish
Well, I can't really say waterproof, because I haven't had the guts to test it, but it is certainly water resistant.
You simply paint over a couple of coats of water based polyurethane clear varnish and allow to dry well between coats. I also dripped a small amount inside any creases to stop the water damaging the shoes from the inside out.
This step is optional. If you are making the shoes for a one off occasion, I wouldn't bother waterproofing them. But, if you plan to wear them a few times, it's definitely the best option to ensure longevity.
Wear Your Shoes!
Now your shoes are wearable! Bear in mind that as lovely as they are, they are paper. They will crack, especially wherever the shoe bends from walking or dancing. It's no big deal, just put another seal of modpodge and varnish on, and you're ready for the next party!
© 2013 Lynsey Harte